Tropical Tree Climbing in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Jaguar Alliance have called for restrictions on the showcasing of once-wild animals following the lethal shooting of a 17-year-old female jaguar which had been given the name Juma that escaped its handlers at a zoo in Manaus attached to a military training center after an Olympic torch ceremony in the Brazilian Amazon.
In another photograph, shared in the days leading up to Juma’s death, the Government of the Amazon department in Brazil shared an image of a torchbearer hand-feeding a pink river dolphin while holding the Olympic torch aloft.
“It was wrong to cage a large predator that would normally roam over hundreds of square kilometers. It is vitally important to create mechanisms by which members of the general public can come to appreciate the emblematic species from certain types of ecosystems while ensuring that the way in which this is achieved does not cause damage in and of itself. Work certainly needs to be done to involve joint actions between government and private entities, including NGOs, in order to articulate local knowledge and facilitate tourism while ensuring that the impact on biodiversity is not compromised as a result”, said Vanessa Marino, director at Tropical Tree Climbing.
In the last century jaguar populations have retracted to less then 50% of their original historical range and populations are continuing to decline and disappear. The Amazon Rainforest is the last stronghold for jaguars.
“We made a mistake in permitting the Olympic torch, a symbol of peace and unity, to be exhibited alongside a chained wild animal. This image goes against our beliefs and our values,” the local Rio 2016 organizing committee said in a public apology. “We guarantee that there will be no more such incidents at Rio 2016.”
Earlier this year Tropical Tree Climbing started a research and conservation initiative called Amazon Jaguar Conservation Project that has the goal of guaranteeing the survival of the jaguar in Amazon in the long term. To conserve a species, it is necessary to understand its biological and habitat requirements, as well as factors that threaten its survival. With this objective the Tropical Tree Climbing in partnership with Wildlife Conservation Society and the Jaguar Alliance will realize this project focusing on jaguar population monitoring and ecological research in strategic areas of northern Amazon, Brazil. Demographic and ecological data will be collected through camera traps, direct observation and radio-telemetry. Biological samples will be collected from jaguars to inform genetic and epidemiological analyses. Through radio- telemetry techniques, the jaguar’s home range will be estimated for females and males. This is the first jaguar study in this region of the Brazilian Amazon. Through camera traps, jaguar pictures will be obtained and individuals will be identified in the area. The project aims to monitor the jaguar population in the region, identifying possible population trends (growth, stability, decrease) over a number of years, an important aspect in understanding the conservation status of the species.
Jaguar related research activities will be a important part of our ecotourism experiences at Tropical Tree Climbing. Visitors will be invited to venture del into the jungle, helping monitoring the camera traps located in different locations and following the jaguar on his path.
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